The Crossbreeding Issue

Cash, Aussie/BC cross, DOB 4/1/99

In making this website, we recognize that many people are convinced that crossbreeding has taken place. We cannot deny that ASCA itself felt a need to address the rumors. However, our goal in creating this site is to spotlight the historically recognized working traits that ASCA considers necessary to preserve. Regardless of what is causing a shift toward more atypical traits, preservation of the traditional working Australian Shepherd is our focus, giving potential owners, breeders, and fanciers of the Aussie an ideal for which to strive.

1990..."Questions have come up.  'Why do a few dogs run like, creep like, down like, and work like border collies?'  'Have a couple of breeders let a border collie jump the fence to make a dog that will win trials?'  If this is happening, how do we breed ethics into people?  I know one thing, there is not enough money in the pots to start this sort of thing.  It has sure raised some eyebrows of a lot of us who have handled both breeds and can recognize the obvious differences between them.  It has been a big problem for the futurities that I don't think it will go away by itself."

Quote from "Futurity Report" by Tony Rohne, Aussie Times, July/August 1990, p. 120

1990...Ringers by Kathy Hoyt-Warren, originally published in the Aussie Times Sept/Oct 1990 p. 101

1990...President's Response (AT Sept/Oct 1990 p. 101 con't p. 27) to Kathy Hoyt-Warren's article Ringers


November 1990

A report on the Affiliate Meeting held Wednesday night by Russ
Ford.  There were 40 Affiliates represented.  Topics discussed were
as follows:

1.  Small number of conformation judges available.  The Board will take this matter under consideration
2.  DNA fingerprinting
3.  Board of Directors newsletter
4.  Election
5.  Bylaw revisions.  Board is asking for input from the membership -  in writing
6.  Cross breeding of Australian Shepherds

From Aussie Times January/February 1991 p. 8

1991...Opinion Poll to the ASCA Membership, from Aussie Times, January/February 1991, p.16

1993..."One subject I have not mentioned is those Aussie lines which have recent outcrosses to Border Collies.  These lines have produced some excellent working dogs.  The only place there is a problem is in the trial arena, with these dogs having a distinct advantage due to their mixed heritage.  Our primary breed club, the Australian Shepherd Club of America, has made no stand on the crossbred dog issue, registering anything received as long as someone swears they have purebred Aussie parents.  This policy does occasionally make for some very unusual looking registered Australian Shepherds.  Also, it is difficult for individuals to take a stand against crossbreeding when the parent club has chosen to ignore the issue.

But the question here is preserving the working Australian Shepherd.  I will draw no conclusions.  These crossbred Aussies eye and creep, show natural distance off their stock, will outrun, and have lots of instinct."

excerpt from The Future of the Working Australian Shepherd by Dana MacKenzie, Aussie Times Sept/Oct 1993, pp.71-74

1993..."Border Collies are great dogs, but very little in the nature of the breed can be compared to the traditional Aussie.  The traits that make the Aussie special, such as loyalty, protectiveness, and the strong desire to please, are pretty much missing.  I won't go into the numerous differences in working style.

I have seen and judged many of the alleged crossbreds.  Some very obviously have Border Collie blood, some work like Aussies, some lack the good traits of either breed.  For the most part, they are different, but not better.

Of course there is always room for improvement, but there are ways of doing it without changing our breed.  We can, and will, capitalize on the traits that make our Aussie special."

From Aussie Times, Nov/Dec 1993 pp. 24 -25, an excerpt from a Letter to the Editor from Jeanne Weaver

1994...Letter from Vicki Rand, Aussie Times editor, March/April 1994 issue

1994...Letter to the Editor from Kaye Harris, Crown Point Australian Shepherds, Aussie Times March/April 1994 p. 10

1994...Letter to the Editor from Jane Harrell, Aussie Times Mar/Apr 1994 pp. 115-116

1994...the ASCA Board of Directors addresses the subject of crossbreeding in a general letter published in the Aussie Times, March/April 1994

1994...Quote from Neil Weaver, ASCA President From Aussie Times President's Report, March/April 1994 p. 16

1995..."One of the more interesting phenomenon of the past few years is the increase in the general understanding of the difference between the two 'eye' breeds (Border Collie and Kelpie) and the 'non-eyed" dogs such as the Aussie.  If you register a Border Collie or a Border Collie-cross as an Aussie and trial him in the ASCA program most people today can spot the deception immediately."

Quote from "Old Friends, New Faces and Better Dogs," by Red Oliver, copyright 1995 Ranch Dog Trainer

1999..."I think Futurities have done some really, really good things for Aussies and some bad things for the breed.

There's money involved.  Any time money is involved - the money has also brought in undesirable things, like people thinking they can win if they cross-breed their dogs and put Border Collie into them.  These dogs are excellent, excellent stock dogs, but they're not Australian Shepherds."

Quote from an interview with ASCA Stockdog Judge Marti Parrish, From Aussie Times,July/August 1999 pp. 76-79



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